Be nice to people... maybe it'll be unappreciated, unreciprocated, or ignored, but spread the love anyway. We rise by lifting others.
We instinctively tend to limit for whom we exert ourselves. We do it for people like us, and for people whom we like. Jesus will have none of that. By depicting a Samaritan helping a Jew, Jesus could not have found a more forceful way to say that anyone at all in need - regardless of race, politics, class, and religion - is your neighbour. Not everyone is your brother or sister in faith, but everyone is your neighbour, and you must love your neighbour.
As a child, I once suffered a bad fall that resulted in scratched palms and scraped knees. I remember how badly it stung, the cold air hitting my bleeding wounds; I felt that I couldn’t stand up for the pain. Through a veil of tears, I recall a kind hand reaching for me and helping me to my feet. My knees and palms were washed clean, and I remember thinking that for the rest of my life, I wanted to help people stand back up.
At times we feel outnumbered in our attempts to improve the world—to brighten and beautify, to preserve and heal and do what’s best for humanity. Selfless efforts can start to feel beleaguering, discouraging, even pointless with so little support. It is at these times I remind myself that I would rather be the last Good Samaritan standing than to join the ranks of selfish multitudes creating misery.
A Spiritual Samaritan lives knowing that if we were to leave this world tomorrow, we were the best humans we could be and we touched the lives of as many souls as possible. We are not asked to be perfect. We are asked to make a difference.